Men as fathers do shed tears after all.

My name is Paul Manning, this is my story and what I’m about to tell you is totally true. The following movie comparison may not be, however I use it here to emphasize and illustrate the injustices and pain perpetrated upon many parents, but particularly upon fathers especially so since I am one myself. I feel the comparison is apt and fitting although you may think it’s a little over the top, but with respect I think you would be wrong.

The comparison.

One of my all time favourite films is “Schindler’s List” It is the story of a brave and courageous German business, ‘Oscar Schindler’ a man who during the 2nd war endeavored to save the lives of hundreds of Jews from their fate of being gassed to death by the Nazis. It is not possible for me to forget a particular poignant scene in the film where a lone forlorn blonde haired little girl, dressed in her tidy red coat, is seen scurrying down the street terrified by the horrors that surround her. She is lost and shaken, she is without the protection of her father to make her feel safe and secure and she has no idea where she is going as she seeks to find her father.

Countless children were being systematically separated from their Jewish parents by a Nazi regime that was hell-bent on exterminating them all, along with any bonds of hope and love they might still have remaining for each other. A regime that was empowered by sheepish cowardly people, by the masses, by your average upstanding voting citizen who mostly supported what was going on, all be it blindly. The law and authority of the day took children from their parents and off they went to Auschwitz or Belsen, concentration camps set up to butcher them. The parents were directed one way and their tearful petrified children went another, but all, equally, to their horrible deaths. I distinctly remember that movie and through clever use of colour on black and white, your eye is directed to the only colour seen on the screen up to then. It is at this point you discover what has been the little girl’s fate. Her red coat is the only color you see and there she is laying dead on the top of a heap of bloody bodies on the back of a horse-drawn cart. I have to tell you that my feelings were such that I just couldn’t prevent myself shedding tears at this point in the scene.

Sometimes when we face and watch such horror as this it can sensitive us even more to the suffering of others. Ok it is sad and harrowing to watch, but somehow it will make you a better human being because your tears are full of empathy and of anger at the injustices taking place. That intense emotional feeling can make you act in ways for good that you never thought possible. As an example, Sir Bob Geldof (a hero of mine) was so moved and angered by the sight of starving African pot-bellied children, that it led him to forcefully demand on TV, in that Dublin brogue of his, “Give us your fucking money and now!” He didn’t quite manage to feed the world, but he had a damn good try, and probably saved thousands from starvation. Yes he cared, but that care was brought about by what he observed and his feelings of rage, and so he found it impossible to ignore the terrible injustice that was taking place to others less fortunate than himself.

So, why am I telling you all this and what is the little girls plight comparable to in my own story? I shall tell you, because in many ways such a situation is still taking place today, yes right here in the good old United Kingdom, that’s why! Every day of every week the authority and perverted family courts of our own country is separating hundreds of sons and daughters from their fathers and starving them of the love and protection they deserve from their dads. It is happening right under your very noses and with seeming legality. Ok our children are not being shipped off to concentration camps or being gassed, but did you know that many fathers have been imprisoned for their demonstrations against the cruelty of the state towards them, just for trying to get back to the ones they love so that they can see them again, their own flesh and blood, their children. I ask you, Is this so wrong that they deserve to be incarcerated?

The severe emotional pain of fathers, who are not in a position to protect or even see their loved ones, is exactly the same pain and emotion as that experienced by a fearful father who had lost his little red-coated precious daughter as depicted in the film. He had lost her and was beside himself with worry, how on Earth was he expected to deal with such pain as this, indeed how can any parent? The circumstances are different yes, but the pain and bereavement of losing a child is the same. Unless you have experienced it you cannot possibly know how it feels. It is a chasm of darkness void of even a flickering candle of hope, but somehow it is the love of your child in your heart that keeps you going and you hang on to that thin strand of hope, it is all you have.

I am not telling you all this to obtain your sympathy, but that very same pain is in my heart every minute of the day, it is a pain that will not go away. It eats away at me and makes me angry and confused. I constantly ask myself… ‘why is this happening to me and my child, what have I done that is so wrong? What have I done to deserve the emotional pain of separation from a son I truly love?’ And you know what?…Not a soul or a Family court Judge has ever been able to give me the answer.

How it all started.

At the age of 45 I never dreamt that I would get the chance to have another child, but thankfully I did. My previous children had all grown up and in many ways I had some regrets that I had not spent more time with them or gotten to know them better. I stupidly thought that to work every hour God sent was the wise course, and I admit that I made some terrible mistakes in bringing them up strictly within the regime of our religion at the time, God I was so wrong and have many regrets! But now this time things were going to be different, I had another chance to give all my time and love to the son of my maturing age, and I was so happy to do it too.

And so Elliott was born in the midst of a great swell of love between his mother and me, she and I were never ever going to part, it just couldn’t happen. On the day she bought that pregnancy test and it showed positive, well that was one of the happiest days of my life and she knew it. I was determined to support her as much as I could. I attended all the ante-natal classes with her at the hospital, every nuance of Elliott’s development and growth I wanted to know about. The day came when I lifted Elliott out of his mother’s womb and out of the warm waters of the birthing pool, yes he was born at home. The midwife had seen how intent I was and emotionally involved, so with her guiding hand close by she had allowed me to lift my son out of the waters and to hold him while he took his first breath of life. I cried tears of happiness as I looked into his eyes and then into the eyes of his exhausted mother that I truly loved. I remember those tears so much, so very much in love we were and so happy to have our special son, Elliott.

After Maria’s maternity leave expired she was eager to get back to work and to enhance her career as a teacher and reflexologist. She had loosely talked about getting a child-minder so that we could both keep working, I was self-employed with a small timber and laminate flooring concern. Maria was not prepared to give up work, but there was no way I was going to let someone else look after Elliott, indeed I insisted that I stayed at home to be his main carer. And so I shelved my business and eagerly took up being a full-time dad while Maria worked.

I bonded with Elliott in the most remarkable way, I loved to watch him sleep and to feed him was a fun time for us both. I remember that he loved splashing about in the tub and giggling with such glee. Elliott became old enough to go to nursery school, so I took him on his first day. It was the first time we had been apart and I cried more than he did when I left him in the care of a stranger.

He eventually grew to like nursery, but he was always in a rush to get back home to his dad. So, I had become Elliott’s main carer and was fully involved in his education. When he moved on in to junior school I was picking him up most days and getting to know all the staff and teachers there, I was well-known by all there. Elliott was now six and was keen to learn football and cricket; we spent hours together at the park with some of his pals from school, knocking a ball about. After we would go back to mum and I would do the normal thing of making dinner, yes I even did all the cooking and doing the house choirs too. Looking back now I realise that I had made a huge mistake in giving up to much of my personal life, my friends, my pastimes, my pub quiz and playing in the snooker team, but now it was all gone. All this so I could be with Maria and Elliott, I loved them too much I guess, is that possible to do? I realise now that I had lost my own identity. In all this time I had not noticed that I had become fully domesticated and kind of house bound because my World revolved around Elliott.

I don’t know what happened, but the time came when Maria voiced the opinion that the spark had gone out of our relationship, I couldn’t understand how it had come to this, all I know was that most of my time was spent caring for our son and for Maria and for her 2 daughters as well. I was so disappointed, foolishly I thought everything was fine between us, but evidently I was wrong. Maria craved excitement and her French ways were very demanding, she always got what she wanted in the end. After I had made her home a palace and fit to live in, much of which was at my own expense, eventually we broke up. I was heartbroken and it made me very sad and to some degree depressed, my doctor prescribed prozac to cheer me up, it didn’t work.

So, I went back to my own dilapidated house that I had rented out to students so as to raise some extra cash to help along with Maria’s finances. She knew that I loved Elliott dearly so she agreed to draw up a written agreement where we would share Elliott’s care 50/50. He had his own bedroom at my home and all his own things that I had acquired for him. Fortunately Maria’s house was only just over the garden wall, so Elliott didn’t feel much of a change or any upheaval. I had always trusted Maria even though we were not married and therefore never saw the need to apply for, PR, “parental responsibility” why would I? However, I now realise that I didn’t really know Maria at all, because she flatly refused to give me that PR. From this point on I worried greatly and I realised that Maria was a total controlling egotist, it’s often the French way to exert their characters in this manner.

After 2 years of separation the day came when Maria emailed me to say that she had met someone else and for some reason or other that I should stop picking Elliott up from school, a thing I cherished doing. I emailed back to calmly say that it was ok; that I would rather keep doing it and it would upset Elli if I wasn’t there to get him from school. No! she ordered, “I want you to stop picking him up altogether” I politely refused. I contacted a solicitor who advised me that she had no right to unilaterally change the written agreement we had drawn up together, that had been in force over the past 2 years after our separation. Apprehensively on the following Wednesday I went to school, as was normal, to get Elliott, there was no fuss and for Elliott it was just a routine time with his father. We then went to a play centre with one of my friends and his two kids who are pals with Elliott.

While there I received a call on my mobile from the police accusing me of abducting Elliott from his mother and that I should return him and at once. I was deeply shocked and tried to explain to them that it was nonsense and not to believe a word she said. Elliott was not party to what was happening or to what was said, for him my concern was shielding him from any pain or harm. Under these circumstances I decided to accept the invite to go to tea with my friend’s family. While there I received another call from the police ordering me to take Elliott back to his mother, this unnerved me and I was deeply worried. I told them I would be taking Elliott to school as normal the following day and that everything was fine. We stayed at my friend’s house over night to avoid any distress to Elliott should I go back to my own home and find the police waiting for me, also Maria spitting lies everywhere while waiting for me to return home, I wanted to avoid that likely scenario. The following day I dropped Elliott off at school as promised. I hugged him and said goodbye wondering if this was the start of a battle to continue to have my son in my life.

Little did I know that police had battered down my door during the night, I found it laying on the garden lawn as I arrived home. Under close police supervision I spent the next 6 hours under police custody at my home although not arrested. I was released without charge or even a caution following my interview. The interviewing officer could see I was a reasonable man, not the lunatic Maria had now portrayed me to be. The police eventually realized what was going on here and expressed their annoyance at spending thousands of pounds in man hours in searching for my car with a police helicopter assisting the night before.

The next day and unknown to me Maria had been able to secure an ex-parte emergency family court hearing. She was granted an injunction barring me from going anywhere near Elliott’s school or her home. I was not even allowed a chance to defend myself to her crazy made up allegations, all done in secret without prior notice given to me. Thus began an ongoing nightmare of family court hearings that have wiped out most of my savings and restricted Elliott of any contact with his father during these (presently) 4 years of court hearings.

After a year of hearings at the family courts I was allowed access to Elliott who was by now 8 years of age. An interim order was made giving me contact for 6 hours a week, but supervised by friends. Why the supervision? I had no idea, but was forced to accept it as I was told that it was the only way I would get to see the son I loved. After some time and with Cafcass’s fabricating involvement the contact arrangement was halted based upon a total lie, giving me no access to Elliott at all. After a further 6 months battling through the courts eventually I was allowed contact again, but this time at a local private contact centre, having to personally finance the arrangement myself to the tune of some £80 for each visit lasting for just 2 hours a month. If that wasn’t enough, Cafcass had arranged for contact to be supervised by two ‘bouncers’ from ‘Core children’s services’, invoicing me for over £700 for the service and possibly rising to £800 if contact reports are required. I was outraged by this and I knew then that Cafcass were siding entirely with my Ex. The longer this has gone on the angrier I became and the more anger and distress I showed the more Cafcass wanted me out of Elliott’s life, it was a catch 22 situation for me, with no way out.

And the reason I am so closely supervised? Following advice from my solicitor, yes I had indeed collected Elliott from school that day as was normal with the shared care arrangement we had made together, Post separation. We had sat down and had both signed up to that written agreement to share parenting of Elliott. A contract I thought superseded any individual parent being able to trump the other, I had that in writing and it was signed by both of us. Only the day came when Maria unilaterally decided to break the agreement and withhold all access forthwith, but certainly this had nothing to do with me being a bad father or that I have ever harmed my son in any way. I love him with all my heart and he feels the same way towards me.

Just 2 hours a month supervised contact with my son, God! even prisoners get more visitation rights! For some strange reason now I am prevented any of Elliott’s school reports and ordered not to talk to him about his education or about anything remotely connected with his mother. Despite the false surroundings, Elliott asks for more time with me and gets upset when our short time together comes to an end each month. The independent supervisors report well and their feedback has always been positive and accurate. They have written many fine reports for the Cafcass officer to read on how happy Elliott is to see me and how I am more than a capable father. However, Cafcass and the courts have not listened and the close supervision has remained in place.

Recently, due to problems fabricated by Maria the manager of the contact centre informed me he would not be able to continue supplying a facility for contact for Elliott and me, it seems that I am not paying enough for him to be bothered with handling extra issues thrown up by my ex, which are many, she has to fabricate some complaint or other to make me look bad and has done this at every contact. And so once again the inevitable visits back to court making for more delays and more separation from Elliott while this Hell goes on.

Due to the stress of all this I have finally lost my business, the last 4 years have devastated me and funds are nonexistent. My attending endless court hearings and related appointments has left me feeling hopeless and debased. Now I have had to seek medical help to deal with the stress and this in turn has been used against me to suggest that I am ill in some way and not fit to care for my son, a thing I was well able to do and happily did before my ex brought these proceedings. I know that things are stacked purposely against me It leaves me with a stark choice of going into debt, or giving up what little contact I have. Sometimes I have felt suicidal, without hope, debased and made to feel like I am a terrible father, yet in my heart I know I am a good dad. Someone who has stood by my son since the very day he was born. I was his main carer, I was his play mate, his security and I love him to bits.

I have faced many allegations that seem to be regularly plucked out of thin air, the Cafcass officer believes every word my ex says and reports them to the court as facts without any investigation or reference back to me. My ex can say whatever she wants and it is given credence and my side of the story is never sought and my efforts to toe the line in this process go unnoticed and ignored. My life is on hold while this process goes on. I cannot turn my back on my son, yet cannot afford to pay further huge financial demands to see him each month.

Last year (March 14th2012) I won my appeal at the high court in London, the Judges sympathised at the rough deal I had been offered and said that little attention had been given to what Elliott wanted which was more contact and more time with me. I am still traumatized by what has happened and feel deeply apprehensive about further future hearings in the biased family courts. I know that I might possibly have to go through the same hell again, to see another psychologist again who will report whatever negatives are pre-loaded into the court bundle that she receives about me. I am presently complaining to the appropriate authorities about this so-called expert’s evidence. I find it distressing and tiresome, but I love Elliott enough to carry on with my fight for justice, it is not just for me, but for the son that loves his father.

I have not seen my son for 14 months now, I am eager to get back to court before Maria alienates him completely, so that contact can be re-established. I do not want to take Elliott from his mother, I have always made that clear to all. I know that he loves her and I would not do anything to change that, in fact I would encourage it. However, I write often to Elliott, but don’t know if the letters are forwarded to him. Recently Maria has moved house and I have no idea where to, she will not agree to allow me to know of her new residence so I can write to Elliott there. All contact has now been severed from Elliott I know nothing at all about his life, NOTHING! The courts have all the information in this regard, but see fit to allow this situation to continue. And the courts are there for the welfare of our children? This is a huge joke to me! I believe they do more damage to families than good, I am sure of it. I wait to go back to the hell of the family courts to fight on in the world of total bias in favour of mothers, where fathers have to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that they are good fathers fit to see their own flesh and blood. This is not the case for mothers, they are looked upon with sympathy, and surely mothers don’t lie do they, or do they?

Support for each other and tears.

On June the 16th 2012 I attended a rally with many other fathers desperate to see their children again. It was organised by Fathers 4 Justice and took place in London at Trafalgar Square. I observed the same sad look in many of those fathers’ eyes as I have in my own, but because of my own experience of being excluded from my son’s life I felt true understanding and compassion for them. We were able to strengthen each other’s resolve to carry on with the fight to seek justice for our children. We embraced each other without shame and listened with empathy to each other’s stories. To take upon yourself the weight of a strangers load while still bearing your own seems to me to be the loving and right thing to do. Many hundreds of fathers all of which brought along their missing children’s photos and shoes placing them all together in a show of unity and grieving. Yes many of us shed tears for each other and openly, are not our children worth the tears of their fathers? I think so, don’t you? So, real men do cry and fathers who live everyday thinking about those they love and miss cry even more.

  (Elliott is the little blond-haired smiling boy in the brown framed picture at the bottom. His white shoes are seen just above tied in a bow of purple ribbon in remembrance of him. (click to enlarge photo)

So, the next time you watch “Schindler’s List” spare a thought for that little girl in the red coat and also for her father bereaved and grieving at heart for the love he has for his lost child. Then be sure to shed a tear for all children missing their dads, I do every day and for my son Elliott. I will say in conclusion that something truly evil exists within the Family courts, it is my duty to try to change it for all good fathers out there that are heartlessly cut out of their children’s lives. Until the day I die I will always love you my dear son. May God bless you Elliott and all those who have taken the time to read my story here. On my oath it is the truth.


(Click to enlarge photo)

68 thoughts on “Men as fathers do shed tears after all.

  1. your a father that every child should have and my heart bleeds for your pain your in its all so wrong and its sounds to me that your boy should of been in your care right now as your the only person that dont want your son going thought all the heart ace all u want for him is peace and love,happiness is that much to ask your story made me cry but my god your a good dad much love x how any of them can sleep at night beats me shame on u all

    • Dear Sally.

      I very much appreciate your comments to me and I know that you have a good heart in saying what you said. My ethic in life has always been to strive for harmony and peace and especially have I wanted that for my son. I love him unconditionally and to have him removed from my life is a pain that I find hard to bare at times, but I have to get on and help othes now, be they mothers or fathers who are being abused by the family courts of our land. I thank you again and I wish you peace and tranquility in your sweet life. Paul.

  2. Paul,

    It’s a familiar story. It happened to me and I always expected a `Candid Camera’ crew to jump out at any point, a grinning presenter waving a microphone in my face and saying `You didn’t REALLY think any of this was remotely credible did you? What on EARTH made you think that you would be treated as a criminal and a danger to your own child with no proof whatsoever???’

    I had it all. `No smoke without fire’. `The child belongs with the mother’. `If I were you I’d forget your son and he’ll come and find you if and when he’s ready’. I had the pity from parents who hadn’t gone through this and were sure there had to be good reason why I did.

    I now work closely with FNF and help people out in the same situation. I still shudder at the `thousand yard stare’ of shell-shocked dads (and some mums) who walk through the door disbelieving the situation they are in…one day a member of a family and the next on their own and treated as a child abuser.


    • Thanks for that Steve.

      Yes I have had the same accusation made to me, that I must have done something wrong to warrant my parentdectomy, this comes usually from those ignorant of the family court system and its total bias, they have no idea do they Steve? A side note: Any chance of FNF publishing my story here on their site, I need all the help I can get? Who do you know who might? Thanks again Steve. Chin up! Paul.

  3. I have exactly the same story Paul as you and Elliot exactly as my young son and I and it is why they are keeping it secret.
    What should be straight forward 50/50 is dragged through courts for years at huge expense.
    That’s the kicker the more conflict the more profit lawyers and the industry makes, the industry makes every effort to fuel conflict, peaceful resolution is not profitable.
    The most notable thing about the courts themselves is the NARCISSUM corruptions bias treachery lies deceit, with no accountability, not judicial in the least.
    Narcisstic treacherous feminist bigots at the forefront is big business, child exploitation is the new boom industry.
    What we are up against is pure evil / narcissism, the more altruistic you are the more they make the more they enjoy destroying you.
    Ever wonder how these nasty psychotic people got these prime jobs and position in government and courts, ever wonder how they got so rich.
    Owen’s theorem Owen’s syndrome
    Robert Owen (14 May 1771 – 17 November) was a Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of socialism and the cooperative movement.
    Owen’s son Robert Dale stayed at New Harmony after its collapse. He had a different assessment of his father’s experiment. “All cooperative schemes which provide equal remuneration to the skilled and industrious and the ignorant and idle must work their own downfall, for by this unjust plan … they must of necessity eliminate the valuable members … and retain only the improvident, unskilled, and vicious.”
    Intelligence is not what you know… but what you can learn
    The solution is to destroy the narcissists via this…

  4. Great page Paul :O) – I remember you from the Trafalgar Sq. demo and know the feeling of solidarity as without some good friends that I have met thru Dads groups I may have not been here today. Nobody experiences anything like what the Family Courts can do to you, and unless you’ve been through it would never know that they operate like that.. Good luck my friend and lets hope life improves for us all, and OUR children. All the best, Dave White,

    • Hi Dave, hope you are ok. Yes I remember you and it was a good day in London. All we can do is wait for the day when we have the sense to join together and get some justice for ourselves, its the only way. Why the hell do we take this shit laying down? Regards to you Dave. Paul.

  5. I wish you and your son all the best Paul.Your story is so sad and yet everyday in the UK and indeed worldwide children loose their parents through similar stories. The government does nothing, the courts support the mother, and do nothing to stop the lies and deceit that is used day in day out to alienate the non resident parent. I have lost my children through this dreadful process, 4 years ago they were normal kids hugging and kissing their Dad when he went to work, today they hate me and believe everything their mum tells them. I have been accused of child abuse domestic violence and even the children believe that should they see me I will try and kidnap them. CAFCASS and the courts do nothing, they don’t even investigate.

    • I’m so very sorry to hear of your experience Joe. To have our kids cut out of our lives completely is a hard and emotional pain to have to deal with. The courts and the judges that preside in them are out of touch with the realities of family life and pay little heed to fathers only to mothers. We both know that the courts are completely biased in favour of mothers, they are just to damn chicken livered to admit it. I feel that our country is breaking down and is soon to be on its knees, my belief is that this is because families are being targeted by a system that is intent on undermining the very root and basis of any good stable society, which is the family! I share your pain Joe, I really do, but that will not console you any. I have nothing but contempt for the family courts and for the Mafia that rule them, Cafcass. All we can do is wait until our anger is so powerful that thousands of fathers will not take it any more and act en masse on the streets in sheer protest and in real action. I wait for that day with great eagerness. With you in spirit Joe. Paul.

    • Hi Joe, You are not alone – there are lots and lots of fathers like you & me & Paul. Your children will come looking for you some time in the future. One of the worse things about this grief is that this important time can never be recovered. Stay strong for your children for when they do come looking for the “monster” which they now believe. When they do find you, they will realise that you are just a really nice man.

  6. Your story made me cry because I know what means to don’t have contact with your child and to miss them to bits. I know the pain and the desperation, I know what means to feel helpless and to think there’s no justice. I’ve been through all that even though I’m a mother. Yes, I am a mother but that didn’t make me the favourite for the evil CAFCASS. I’m not a bad mother, I’m not an alcoholic or drug addicted, nothing at all. My only mistake was that I fell in love and trusted a heartless and mean man who used me to have the child he wanted so much and threw me on the street like an unwanted dog. As a foreigner in this country it was a long and a very difficult battle to me. The CAFCASS officer was siding to my ex completely, trysting every word of him without any evidence. Her report was absolutely bias and her advice to the Court was me to see my child just once in a week! I could not believe it and I was feeling like I was fighting against the whole system. Thank God my barrister was a very good one so she managed to convince the Judge how wrong is the CAFCASS officer and that there is no reasonable evidence for the Court to stick to the CAFCASS advice. My solicitor told me the other day that the Judge decided to give us Shared Residence so I can gladly say that I won against the evil and bias CAFCASS!
    I’m writing all this to tell you that I really feel for you and what is happening to you because I have been unfairly separated of my baby for four horrible months but I also want to tell you that you must not think that all the mothers are bad persons and that CAFCASS always stick to them. I have searched the Internet for other females going through the same like me and some of them have not been lucky like me to get 50/50, they just lost their cases because CAFCASS were absolutely bias, sticking to the dads. I think that everything depends on the person. You have been unlucky to meet an evil female person and I was unlucky to meet an evil male person. People like your and my ex are not human beings to me and I think they gonna pay for what they have done one day. Our children will want answers one day. You son will wanna know where is his dad so keep fighting! Never give up!

    • My Dear Sylvia.

      I read your comment with great concern and felt cut to the heart by your bad experience with Cafcass. They are a very uncaring organization with poorly trained staff who know little of what a child really wants, nor do they really put the child first in any case they deal with. Yes at times thay can side with one parent over the other, but I assure you it is rarely with fathers, although you say they sided with the father, your ex, in your case and I believe you. They are very brutal and highly egotistical people who seem to get a huge kick out of debasing and humiliating parents, im sure they did this to you as well. I feel sorry for you and that as a foreigner to our country you were treated in this poor way. To tell you the truth I have now become an advisor and a campaigner to many parents and for their children. I represent mums and dads, I am not biased in that, I will help either men or women against the evils of Cafcass, it is my task in life now. I am glad that you see your child, and that truly makes me happy that you do. I will support you in any way I can. You have my love and affection. Please look at my other page here about Cafcass. Click:

      All my care and thoughts are with you my friend. Paul manning. x

      • Thank you very much for your kind words, Paul. I just clicked on the link and I found out that actually it’s a page that I already like 🙂 I remember that I liked all facebook pages against Cafcass after reading their report about my case!

      • Hello again.

        I am glad that you already know of that Cafcass link, If I can help you in anyway in the future you must let me know, perhaps we are FB friends already? Keep happy and well. From Paul. x

  7. What annoys me so much is that women can simply do this on a whim. they’re bored, they fancy someone else etc. surely if they want to go and do something else then why is it the father who has to go through court hell and not them? they take the child and they are supported, we take the child and it is a criminal offence.

    I’m having to give up on my son because the odds are too stacked against me. He is 4.5 now and his mother has denied all contact for 9 months now. She is keeping him in the czech republic after her telling me she was going to return to the uk with him. He’s never met my father or brother.

    She has put me from £13k in the black to £18k in the red that i spent trying to be in his life. Now she wants 5 years money, money for the future and isn’t even talking about access. I’ll never be able to afford to see him and she has continually used him to abuse me and use me. If she was here i would fight for him.

    I barely know any men who have not had their kids taken away. Good luck k

    • Hi Kit.

      What a story and it goes to show how some women can be so dishonourable, you have my sympathies kit. I’m wise enough, as you, are to realise that this whole issue is not a gender issue, but knowing that over 90% of mothers get custody or residency of the kids it seems like the courts have made it so. That figure needs some explaining and the only possible explanation is bias, I see no other route as to that shocking figure coming about. Keep strong Kit, it is all we can do, unless you want to take a visit to Westminster Abbey with a spray can. I joke, Chin up Kit.

  8. Paul,

    Thank you for sharing that with everybody, I’m not ashamed to say it bought a tear to my eye ( 42 year old male).
    I too am in a similar situation although it is very early days and I hope it doesn’t end up as serious as yours, it has been 42 days since I saw my beautiful son ( he is 17 months old), I too am getting accused of everything she can think of, although she is diagnosed with clinical depression, has mental health issues and has actually admitted she is I’ll and has been over reacting !.
    My first court hearing is next week 26th June 2013, and I pray that I get an easy suitable outcome.
    My thoughts will be with you when I am there together with all other fathers who are in this horrendous situation.
    We MUST keep fighting for our right to see our children.

    • At the meeting in Westminster last week, one father raised the point – when referring to the 2hrs/wk contact he’d been ‘awarded’ – that what would happen if they suggested that servicemen returning from Iraq/Afghanistan stints should only be allowed 2hrs weekly with their kids due to what the courts term as ‘the relationship having broken down’. There would be a national uproar led by the Daily Mail and all the others. I feel that’s quite a powerful argument and that we should be using that analogy and it certainly puts them on the spot. How can anyone plausibly counter that? I’m sure with you having got it into court pretty quickly that it won’t be the same in your case but forewarned is forearmed and all that. Good luck.

      • Hello there Caveman.

        I was at that meeting in Parliament too and I remember the comment you refer to. It seems to me that the more a father loses contact (A horrible word, as I said at the meeting) with his children, the more the courts will say that the children will need a slow approach in being re-engaged with the father again and of course that may put the resident parent under stress and have an affect on her parenting. Therefore, in such a way the child’s needs and interests have been made paramount… All I can say to that is Bullshit! Thanks for your comment my pal. By the way, I was the one that read the poem, “Gone baby gone”. I gave a copy to Galloway and also this story you have read here. All the best. Paul Manning.

    • Hello there Darren.

      Thank you for commenting. I truly hope all goes well for you and that you do not find yourself fighting to see your child in another 5 years or so, because that is how long Iv’e been at this through, what I consider to be, the bias in favour of mothers. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those fathers that think males can do no harm, all I’m saying is that I know I haven’t in regard to a son I brought up from birth. What has been difficult for me is the sheer fabrications of Cafcass and I didn’t get on with them at all, that is what lost me my case. I should have allowed myself to be dabased even more by them and humiliated, but I just couldn’t take anymore of their BS, so I lost it once, and that was that, my ticket was docked! One thing I will say is that I love my son with all my heart and more, with all my soul. I have to act soon in some way, look out for me on the news. I might just do something like deface the Queen’s portrait to make someone listen to my screams for help. By the way… the guy that did that is a close friend, some will obviously condemn what he did, but then again unless you have experienced the heartbreak and bereavement of being cut out of your child’s life, what right have they to say anything? I hope all goes well for you mate. God Bless, and peace to you. Paul manning UK.

  9. I dont know whether this is applicable to your situation but this isnt totally dissimilar to what happened to me. Following all the false allegations and blocked contact, I spent a year trying to resolve the situation with the child’s mother. When this failed I made a straight residency application under the implication lies implied the mother was mentally unstable and unfit to be primary carer. no i am not whiter than white, unlike you i was in trouble with the police for other things I had actually done. in spite of this we were assigned a social worker who was charged with investigating the pair of us to find out what was really going on. (They are ordered to produce a section 7 risk assesment) I had to be patient, bite my lip and say what i knew needed to be said to get my contact order rather than what i sometimes wanted to say. you have to forget about getting justice for her, and focus on your contat order. 6 months later I cleared the assesment, went to court, asked for 2 nights a week plus birthday/christmas/holiday provisions and got everything i asked for. nnedless to say she was fuming and still refuses to speak to me, forcing my mother to do the handover and refusing to communicate over any issues regarding the children. Its not ideal but I got what I wanted – the system did work for me – eventually! I advise you to try to get social services involved – by hook or by crook if necessary. It sounds to me like the root cause of your problems is that no one is spending enough time with you to get a grasp of whats really going on. Good luck, stay strong!

  10. I feel for you Paul, I was at the meeting last week as well and have been through similar myself. And my ex is French too. Awful situation and we’re so helpless. I don’t know what else to say apart from to offer mutual support and admiration at your eloquently put story. Words like ‘keep the faith’ and the like I certainly find are not too much consolation when they’re offered to me…

    • Thanks for that Caveman, if your ex is French too, you will know how right they always want to be, no arguing with a Frenchy is there? And I discovered little point in trying too. Respects. Paul

      • Certainment pas & zut alors !! Hey ho, we live and learn I guess. I avoid the French like the plague now I have to say. Whilst I was with her the CEO of the company I worked for was French, I had 10 years of her and 8 of him. Never again. Somewhat aggrieved by them… Great poem, great speech, and I have to say I was impressed with George Galloway. And the Leeds MP. I was a bit disheartened to read a piece in one of the freebies on the train home that GG has a reputation for being a serial presenter of EDMs with over 100 to his name to date. I hope this one doesn’t fade away. I’ll keep up the pressure on my MP anyway. If they can find the time to pass gay marriage bills and the like I’m sure this one can be squeezed in too somewhere. Not that I have anything against gay people but it’s surely way way down the pecking order in the whole scheme of things…

  11. Paul, After reading your story i now have a knot in my stomach. I can relate to your story, ive watched my partner go through hell and back in the past 6yrs trying to protect his daughter from her mother, the new boyfriends and their sons. The system is a joke and sides primarily with the mother. His daughter has been upset by the whole situation and emotionally blackmailed into not seeing her dad. For the sake of her, we have both decided to take a step back from his daughter. We would never turn our backs, but for fear of my partner and i being accused of unthinkable things we have to stand back and consider our own child. I hope and pray in my heart that for the sake of the lost children of this country, the system changes. I wish you the best of luck in seeing Elliot.

    • Hi Anna.
      Happy to know you.

      What you describe is that same old story, time after time I hear about some mothers not able to get over the history of their relationship with their ex over some matter or other. So, they go into vengeance mode by default, it borders on illness for them, this was the case with my ex too, she is ill with it. The courts don’t really have a handle on ‘Child Alienation’, they think it’s none exsistant, I put that down to ignorance and lack of education on the judges part, they have no fucking idea! (excuse the french, but it makes me angry). Your partner has proabably been through hell and I know the feeling, at times you have to give up and lay low for a while or you go insane and I know he is thinking of his child. Give him a huge hug for me Anna. Wait and see I ain’t giving up on Elliott, just wait and see. ???

      My regards. Paul Manning x

  12. Dear Paul, your story is deeply moving and brings tears to my own eyes. Until my son lost contact with his own two dear children a year ago I don’t think any of us knew what real pain and anguish meant. Nothing in my vast life experience had prepared us for the prejudice, lies and heartlessness of this vicious, throat cutting system. My son is tarnished by the accusations, mentally unwell with the blackness of not seeing his precious children and criminalized by the vicious lies of my former daughter in law who is about to give birth to her new partners child at any time. She has managed to have me branded a safeguarding issue with Cafcass for ignoring her terrible life etc and not reporting it to social services. All my protests have fallen on deaf ears. We are back in court tomorrow and with a heavy heart. I have no idea how my son will react if he is again denied contact which I fear is the likely result but I know in his mind he has no inner resources left to bring to the table. He is stripped of home, family, reputation and pride. He has never yet been able to give his side of the story because no-one is listening. I have no idea how on earth this crime against humanity is allowed to continue in our ‘ western’ society except to feel we live under a government that interfere with every aspect of peoples lives and then walk away and leave the mess. I can only hope Paul you are rewarded soon for your tenacity. Your son deserves so much more than the system has given him. Lots of love Glynis xxx

    • Dear Glynis.

      I read your post with great concern in my heart for your sons plight. And it seems that, as you say, the court system is designed to turn fathers into hamsters that are forced to keep running and running on a never ending wheel designed to either exaust us or make us go insane. After 5 years I have decided not to take any further part in the court system anymore, I mean why would I expect justice from a totally corrupt court system and that includes the evils of the Cafcass scum too? I know instinctively what your poor son has been through, I’ve been there Glynis. I have nothing but great feeling and sympathy for how your son must be feeling. The feeling when you lose someone you love is so impossibly hard to express unless you have been there, I feel it every second of the day. I wish I could get the power to make these Judges see what they are doing, how they are destroying fathers lives and that of your son, but you know as I do that they are heartless, unfeeling monsters. Tell your son not to get his hopes up with the court system, there are other ways. Join F4j and tell him to fight back, not just for himself, but for all of us fathers who have been fucked over. Unite I say! UNITE AND WE CAN WIN.

  13. Hi what can I say !!! All true and spot on.
    Hi to all dads and their children who have been separated by this biased and very discriminate process called family law.
    Just very very sad for all !!!!

    • Thanks for your input Paul.
      My advice to all is to avoid the family courts like the plague, why would you expect justice from the type of people who are far removed from the realities of daily life. The judges “are the blind leading the blind and both will fall into the pit”, JC.

  14. Hi Paul
    It felt like I was reading a check list .. yep, been there, heard that, accused of that, and that, and that .. and so on…… it was all so familiar and it brought back an abyss of angry emotions. I can so identify with the other comments here as well.. especially the “candid camera” and the “well you must have done something wrong to be treated like that” comments.

    I also had a couple of counselling sessions to deal with the anger I had inside, but felt that the anger was all I had left to keep me connected to my daughter who would break down in floods of tears when she had to travel the 350 mile journey back to her mother, after her bi-annual 2 week visit, pleading to stay with me..

    I could go on and on and would like to say things worked out in the end, but now she is 20 years old .. and I know deep down she blames me for not being in her life more. despite all the information I try to give her as to how this abominable system works.. I don’t think she quite believes me when try to describe it to her.and why would she believe me? I wouldn’t have believed it either had I not experienced it !

    I am going through exactly the same with my 12 year old daughter and feel the best thing, as much as I hate to say it, is to have no contact in order to protect her from the constant accusations she gets for her mother. It is no way to be brought up!

    I have no idea how to go about changing this system but I do know that campaigning hasn’t made a bit of difference thus far, and the media try their utmost to villify organisations like F4J instead of focussing on the actual issue .. I really am at a loss. So I can identify with everything you have been through and are going through and I wish all the success in your quest.. thank you for sharing you story.

    • Hi Rob, thanks for your contribution and thoughts.

      Yes you seem to be right that campaigning hasn’t changed much and the courts blindly go on telling us that the system is not biased in favour of mothers. Yet mothers get over 90% of child custody and residence in private law cases, so how do they explain that then? Even though little is changing I can’t bring myself to give up on Elliott, my love is unconditional and to the grave I shall battle on.

      No wonder a friend of mine did a little spray job on the Queens portrait in Westminister, I know he had had enough pain and couldn’t take anymore BS from the courts, I truly admire Tim Haries for making his point, I will not condemn him or his actions although I know some will. The past five years has made me very ill and desperate at times, but one day Elliott will know the truth. Respects to you Rob. Paul.

      • I don’t think giving up is an option but I am at a loss as to what to do. In my experience, once you are out of your childrens life, then there is no going back. I liken it to something called the Stockholm Syndrome, when a hostage takes the side the kidnapper (and the similarities here aren’t lost on me !), and will argue their case for them against all evidence to the contrary. My daughter was moved to the opposite end of the country when she was 3 years old, which is why I got just 2 x 2 week stints per year.

        Once she reached the age of wanting to know more details (13), I found her mother doing her best to cut me out completely. Up until then I had managed to avoid any real discussion of her mother and myself, but as things got worse and worse I told her what had actually happened, and what was happening now. I tried to convince her to believe what I was saying but it was useless (Stockholm Syndrome), despite all the evidence.

        The personal battles that many men undertake against the law courts to see their children, are always destined to fail because you are up against so many institutions who have an interest in seeing you fail, rather than an interest in justice.Lawyers need to make money, judges need to be seen to be obeying the law as it stands, not because it is right, but because it is the (secret) law. Court welfare officers need to protect themselves against going against the system that has trained them for the sake of their careers, police need to keep fathers away if the mother even so much as hints at violence, which of course is already on the template of the case against you.

        I had a friend go through exactly the same as myself a few years after I did. He is the gentlest person I know, a fantastic Dad, but I had to laugh when he phoned me up fuming that a report had been submitted with the first two lines stating that he was violent and manipulative. He couldn’t understand why I found it amusing until I reminded him that those were exactly the same words used about myself a few years earlier and he had made the remark that I ‘must have done something’ to have that written about me back then.. a real case of ‘welcome to my world !’.

        The only help I was able to give him was towards his meetings with his lawyer -i.e. just give him the bare essentials of your case and do not engage in chit chat as if he is a counsellor, because he will charge through the nose and has no interest; How to get through those nights that you can’t sleep, when the demons are visiting and your heart is going ten to the dozen, when all you want to do is howl at the moon about the injustice; What to expect at every stage and how to get out of it alive. But importantly to gently let him know that he is going to lose regardless of his conduct as a father and a husband – and I am not exaggerating when I say he was devoted to both his wife (who as it transpired, was devoted to someone else) and his son.

        But I have got off the point. Never give up , but only change will come when fathers (and from at least one comment, mothers), take on the system itself, not just their individual cases. While people are focussing on their own children, the system will stay strong, because it can easily handle one person at a time – only in a real force of united discontent either inside or outside the Law will changes take place- History has proven this time and time again.

        I would like to discuss this further with yourself or any others that might feel the same way so I will finish here and try to find you on Facebook.

        Sorry for the length of this comment but it is a subject that is so important to me.


      • Hi Rob, Hope you are well.

        No apologies needed for the length of your posting here, you write with honesty, logic and insight. The syndrome you refer to fits the bill well and of course a childs mind is moldable and an open canvass for any alienating resident parent to map out and color upon just as they please and as their illness allows them to. Yes it really is an illness, with many parents, who choose to use the child as a levering tool against the other, usually the father, he now considered by the child as the visitor, the guy who he or she is now forced upon to have contact with. A state of affairs purposely and inevitably brought about by the courts, by a regime that knows what the future holds for the poor child and for the father. Once entered the family courts will bring about a fathers downfall in relation to his child, a self fulfilling automatic prophecy of doom for a relationship that was previously solid, sound and loving. This is so inevitable and usually this situation will be thrust upon the unsuspecting father who came to the arena expecting fairness and justice, but as green as the grass. My firm belief is that family court judges actually know what they are doing, they know the daily tragedies they are bringing about upon we fathers and to our poor lost children, how they can do their jobs I’ll never know, I couldn’t that’s for sure!

        The questions are: how do we fathers live with missing our kids and with our pain? How do we deal with the injustice of it all and cope from day to day? How can we remain a man, but do nothing to restore our own dignity after being humiliated in having our own flesh and blood taken from us? Questions I ask myself continually, I fear that I have no answers, for me these are things I struggle with constantly and sometimes I don’t know how I’m surviving at all. All I know is that my heart and conscience and my love pushes me on to some sort of future action, some sort of path that will get me back to my dear son, it will be an action that may lead to my incarceration possibly even to my own death. For I tell you this, my own nation or some judge who knows not of my love for my child is not going to take my son from me or prevent me from seeing him! yes as drastic as it sounds. I have decided… It is MY way or the highway, my choice. Respects Rob, (You write well by the way.)

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my story Mayfield Mother. I am happy to know that you have not made this issue one of gender, mothers against fathers, as I am not into degrading mothers as some might do. This is an issue that needs sorting out and to do that all parents need to have an input on the huge problems in the courts and what they are doing to destroy families and many parents lives. I often help mothers in their cases because I know that it’s not as easy as thinking that fathers are all perfect, I know that. There is good and bad in all people from all walks of life. I will read your website and hope that you have peace in your life, if you have been through the courts, as I have, then by God you’ll need it!

  15. Hi Paul,

    You directed me to your story from Karen Woodalls blog….I have read your story as probably every other person has, with tears in my eyes, and with a sense of gut churning injustice for what lies ahead for our children….

    I am a mother and grandmother and my journey began as I supported my son in his fight to protect his son. I wont go into detail here but suffice to say our story involved neglect, physical abuse, drugs and lies! I feel extremely fortunate that my son was awarded Residence, it was touch and go…It wasn’t the neglect and physical abuse, or the drugs and wild parties that swayed it in our favour…It was the fact that we made them aware of their own failings, we highlighted the failings of the Childrens Services department, under an OFSTED Improvement Notice for failing to protect the children in its care, one of those children was my grandson. It was their fear of being seen to fail a child, the fear of repercussions for them that stirred them into action, not the concern for my grandsons well being! I firmly believe that because the Judge was a man, that played a part too….

    Having searched far and wide to gather information about Family Law and the court process I began to realize what a huge problem fathers have, how large scale this problem is, and the impact it is having on our children. I joined a Forum called and now I spend most of my free time hunched over my laptop trying to give advice, support and encouragement to Dads, and some Mums too… some suicidal, some effervescent with rage, some beaten into submission, their children the weapon used to do the beating!

    Learning to cope with losing contact with a child can be compared to the different stages of bereavement… The wall of indifference that the non resident parent faces with regard to their suffering is breath-taking in its cruelty….it chokes me, but it makes me want to fight for the rights of estranged parents everywhere.

    I feel so helpless.

    • Hello Jane.
      I am gald you got my post as left with Karen, I don’t see it listed on her blog, so I guess she might have sent it to you privately. This is not the place for gossip or disparaging words, but while I admire Karen very much, for all the great sense she writes and her obvious genuine care on the subject and her great knowledge. However, I have to say she has let me down on a few occasions. Talk is all very well, but when one says that they will help you at your appeal and come and talk to my barrister, but then to not turn up at all, well its a big let down and I was dissapointed in her for not keeping her word to me. I have met Karen on a few occasions, and I know she really cares, but it takes more, it takes REAL action I think. We can talk till the cows come home, it will do no good, not while the hundreds of fathers I am in contact with continue to suffer the emotional pain at being cut out of their kids lives by a totally biased and uncaring system that seems hell bent in bringing about a future generation of fatherless children. I see a bleak future if this carries on.

      I am grateful and thankful that you took the time to read my story and you were able to relate to It in some way.

      I was not shocked when you said: “It was the fact that we made them aware of their own failings”… and also… “It was their fear of being seen to fail a child, the fear of repercussions for them that stirred them into action, not the concern for my grandsons well being! Yes I can see that your tack and approach won out because they were more concerned about the fall out, NOT FOR THE SAKE OF CHILDREN, thats typical and they dont really give a flying pig about kids. I am glad that you got some sort of justice though, all be it by bitter experience, I can say you were very lucky. I have not seen my son now for over 2 years and it’s destroying my life, I was so very, very close to him. What has done it for me is my protestations about them and the court system on the various blogs I write: FB, Abba Father, etc. My Ex reported them to court and it went against me, but I refused to stop telling the truth on the blogs, to thier irritation, so I got the book thrown at me. It has nothing to do with me being a bad father, it’s all about the court being vindictive and revengeful at me exposing them as the hypocrites they are. That’s one thing about me, when I see something thats corrupt I speak out, probably too much. Sorry that you feel “helpless” I have that feeling also, but as helpless as I feel, I guess I carry on, same for you I guess.

      Love cannot be destroyed, it cannot be stamped out by the mere say-so of a Judge’s court order, Love will endure all. Love is something my son has for me and I have for him, it is something worth giving my life for. My son Elliott is worth it all and if I have to go to prison for that love, then so be it. Look out for me on the news, I will act?? My own nation and government will not take my son from me, not until I have breath in my lungs. Thanks again Jane, I too help many fathers and mothers too, I have many that are heartbroken, I can’t turn them away, so I help them. The world is going mad, and I blame the breakdown in families for that, and of course as encouraged by the family courts. Respects to you Jane.

      Paul. x

      • You’re right Paul, as I said on Karens blog, we can sit around discussing, reasoning, coming up with solutions until the cows come home, but it won’t change anything! I watch the demonstrations that are happening with increasing regularity across the globe….Most of these people have very little if compared to the lifestyle we enjoy here, and yet they are richer than we will ever be, not in monetary terms but in the connection they have with their fellow man….they get it! To stand together and with one voice they demand change! They inspire me and I feel joy for them, but at the same time it fills me with great sadness….here in this country I can’t imagine that that could happen, collectively there is little interest in the greater good. Apathy and callous indifference are our daily bread… Someone collapses in the street and nobody stops to help, why? The elderly instead of being cherished are left to cope alone, nobody seems to care, why? Millions of children are growing up without their fathers, why? Well I’m sick of it, sick to my stomach of the sense of helplessness I feel…. Sick of the people that make the decisions about our children, people with little understanding and even less compassion…and once a family is caught in the system there is no escape, even my son having been granted Residency, can’t break free from their control and wrong judgements, he’s not allowed to make the right decisions to continue to protect his son…we fight on.

        I respect your call for direct action, F4J are greatly maligned, the media far from championing their cries for help, deride and discredit them at every opportunity. Even parents that are suffering at the hands of the system join in with their condemnation. To speak out is to be demonised, as you have been.

        I have sent you a friend request on Facebook Paul…I am not afraid to continue to speak out publicly but there are things we can talk about in private too!

      • Hello again Jane.

        You make me smile Jane because your nature and soul is the same as mine and you sound like you care too much, but thats not possibe to do, we both know that. You have a deep sense of righteous indignation in you, same as me. You would stop the corruption in a second if you had the power, same as me. You can’t ignore what’s going on in the world and you give a damn about your fellow man, same as me. Perhaps we are both dreamers trying to make a difference, but how can we in our weak and powerless state? That feeling in you though is telling me that you are a thinker, a carer, someone that just can’t settle into a comfort zone, same as me. Sometimes we wish we could let go, but we can’t. At least we are not complacent in our minds or with our lives, at least we give a damn. I’d rather have it that way than be in an ignorant stupor as to what is taking place world wide as some are. We will always remain who we are Jane, and that is what counts, We will continue exposing the bastards of the world, but will it count enough? You know what, you and I don’t care if it counts, we will continue anyway. My affection to you my sister, I can feel you to well. Paul x

      • Paul what a lovely soul you are, bless you for the light that glows from within you, it lights the path you have chosen and it will sustain you in the darkness.

        I am happy that I made you smile, keep hold of that thought, tuck it away somewhere safe and bring it out whenever you need to…each time you do it will make you another smile!

        I feel a sense of helplessness, but I don’t feel hoplessness….today our souls touched and recognised each other. we made a connection, our two voices are as one voice and we are all the stronger for it!

        I feel your pain but you have such reserves of strength, much more than you realise. Today your intuition has guided you, trust in it and it will serve you well.

        We are grounded you and I….We get it!

  16. Paul I cried again on reading your story even though I’ve shed many tears and been in despair since my son and I (and all paternal family) have been denied all contact with my only grandson for over two years now – even though he lives only a mile away with his mother,stepdad and 3 step siblings.
    My son has been to court but because of false allegations and parental alienation he was not granted contact.CAFCASS and CAMHS negative and unhelpful.
    I had 10 years of happy times with my grandson but I despair of seeing him again before I die
    and more so I greave at what this is doing to his mind and personality.
    I wish you and your son well

    • Hello Grandmani.

      I appreciate your well wishing to me. I dicern that you too have been through a similair hell to me and the courts will bring you to insanity and frustration, this is by design and intention. The courts are places that are for robots and uncaring solicitors who make their bread and butter out of the likes of us. Do not go there again, but I feel real heartbreak in your words Grandmani. Respects and press on somehow. Paul x

    • Hi Grandmani,
      Have you thought of applying for contact as a grandparent? I’m no advocate of our judicial system, far from it, but I am prepared to contemplate any means to reach an end…

      I cant imagine my life without my grandchildren, it almost happened to me but my son and I fought through the courts and my son was awarded Residency.

      What is happening to our sons is a tragedy, a travesty and immoral…I saw your posts over on Karen Woodalls Blog….all very well meaning people aren’t they, but they’re fiddling while Rome burns…. Talking, debating is all well and good but it has to be followed up with action of some kind.

      Myself and a lady who is also supporting her son through his journey to be a father, are at the moment discussing ways we can start a group/blog/movement. We are only throwing ideas about at the moment. I’ll be able to share more when I know more!

      All I can say is keep on supporting your boy as I know you will, we have to be strong for them don’t we…

      All the best Grandmani

      Jane x

  17. Your story absolutely stunned me. It amazes me how much the course usually provide the mothers with. That leaves me, you and other fathers wondering when will they consider the hurt it does to the children. I pray that the hurt you feel blunts itself so that it may not bog you down.

  18. Thanks for support and sympathy. I have thought of applying for contact as a grandparent but feel it would be futile at present and only further inflame the implacable.situation.There have been false allegations against me and my son and obvious parental alienation.After happy times with GS for over 10 yrs last year at a local scout fair he deliberately blanked me when I approached him! We,ve been told quite firmly that he doesn’t wish to see us.
    He lives with mum,,stepdad and 3 younger step-siblings they’ve had since divorce.So he obviously in eyes of the law has a stable,secure home.They just seem to want to completely undermine and obliterate my son. from his son’s life.He is a good ,strong man and has been a good loving father..
    He has been much helped by attending one of Karen’s workshops.
    I’ve had help from ‘bristolgrandparentssupportgroup’ run by another Jane who has also put comments on Karen’s post.
    Thanks again and keep ideas coming
    Best wishes

  19. Hi Paul, my situation is not as bad as yours as I see my little Man … I ve had four hearings know & I ve just restored proceedings to take it back for the fifth time … Holidays, longer weekend contact etc my heart bleeds for you I am feeling your pain don’t ever give up keep on plugging away at it take care R.

  20. hi paul,
    no help at all to you but i am praying for the day when people, men and women, stop abusing their children by denying them contact with a much loved parent. if someone stole the child’s pet there would be more outcry than the deliberate cruelty of suddenly removing a parent from the picture. i hope you and all the others have a happy ending one day x

    • Hi Jean.

      I agree with what you say about pets as though they are more important than children’s rights to see both parents. I will say this though: after going through the secret family courts for 5 years and being debased, humiliated, lied about, belittled, patronized, treat as a child, false evidence fabricated against you, bullied, your money taken, told what to do with your own son, abused and cheated by Cafcass and Judges… then my advice to fathers is do not enter any family court room, DO NOT GO NEAR! It is time for parents to refuse to be put on the tread mill any longer and being used like some hamster on an ever turning wheel that you feel you must keep up with. The courts will make you angry and distressed, when that is seen by the courts, then you have lost! Paul Manning said: “The law of any nation is never sacrosanct when its peoples are suppressed by tyranny and injustice because of it, for then it is your obligation and duty to break it.” My affection to you Jean. Paul.

  21. Hi Paul,
    Sorry to hear of the crap you’re going through, I married a Swiss woman and suffered a lot of the same.

    In the court I got knocked back repeatedly, eventually broke and with my previously successful company near bankrupt I went it alone without a barrister and only then final made headway.

    I presented all my papers so as to please a Judge. Amazingly simple tricks like writing a balanced (get a mate to help) summary of the case as a cover sheet would result in lazy arsed Judges referring to it as if it were fact. I simplified every bundle, colour coded and indexed them, including both sides papers so the Judge would chose to work from my simple and clear pile, putting the other side on the back foot..

    I treated all Judges with the respect they felt they deserved, regardless of what I thought of them, I never spoke out of turn and made sure my oral presentations were simple and stripped of emotion and eventually in stages, got shared residence (helped by my ex attacking her own solicitor in court when she felt she had been let down).
    It was never easy as my personality is to be the best in my field and I have a manner to match, but come court day I presented as a father that could be listened too and trusted.

    As you know the case is never actually settled and year after year I’d be dragged back in front of the Court & CAFCASS because the ex had hooked up with a new nutty best friend giving moral support to fight yet another stupid lie / claim, but eventually my daughter was of an age and able to speak out and all of a sudden the lies and court visits stopped.

    My new wife taught me to remove all emotion from my dealings with my ex and have no contact whatsoever other than through the court, this eventually allowed my hated to subside which paid dividends in my daughters comfort in our “peaceful” home.

    I may well be teaching granny to suck eggs or hopefully I may be re-enforcing your own methods.
    Either way all the best.

    Can I also add a suggestion that you look after yourself and try to enjoy yourself whenever you’re able, you’ll need to come out of it a happy dad.

    • Hi Jess,

      What a relief, I have now seen the light! A father gets equal residency wow! So you are the one then Jess? Its encouraging to hear your story and your slight of hand in eventually getting somewhere near what you wanted, not that it was easy for you. This makes me happy for you indeed, that you see your child. Yes I will try and take your advice and look after myself, but it will probably be when I get out of prison, so by that time I will have had the cell time to write my book. As for happy dads, well I know what you mean, but happy dads need happy kids around them, because thats what actually makes a dad, the child or children. At the moment I am a dad only in name, but who knows I might just get to see Elliott sooner than I thought, I truly hope so. If you read my full story you will know how close I am to him, without him in my life it will be difficult. Anyway happy to have met you Jess, please come back anytime with the latest on your situation with your daughter. All the best, Paul Manning.

  22. Wow Paul, what can I say. I get to see my twins once a year for 7 days, as the mother has decided that’s what they want, yet they are both upset when I have to take them back to there mothers home. And the Bloody court said that’s fine. Our time will come and they will be held accountable for there lies. john

  23. Know exactly where you are coming from Paul…..have followed the news about you during the year and seen your comments on various forums and articles……currently involved in a similar battle to be part of the lives of my children….and trust me… is not any easier even when you have been married and have PR.

    I do not know what went on during the relationship with your ex, but certainly her behaviour towards you since you split, using your son as a weapon to beat you with, seems extremely abusive, so I can only presume that it may simply be a continuation of the way she behaved, perhaps less obviously, during the relationship.

    It certainly took me a long time after my wife had left, and we divorced, and despite the way she was behaving with regard to our children, using them as weapons in a similar way that your ex has, to realise that actually, she had been abusive throughout the marriage, and even when she was violent, I excused her on the basis that it did really not hurt me that much, physically.

    Whilst I appreciate that your primary concern is spending time with your son, and working towards that, as I notice someone else has commented (sorry not had time to read them all), please do not lose sight of yourself, look after yourself, and if you can find any groups local to you for male survivors of domestic abuse, go along, it will help give you strength.

    A good friend of mine, he is an accomplished musician but also a survivor of domestic abuse, and facing similar challenges with regard contact with his young daughter, has written a song ‘Curled Up’ about his own experiences, to help others like us. I know it is a bit cheeky, but I hope you won’t mind me posting a link to it here, as we need to raise awareness of all these issues facing men that are routinely swept under the carpet.

    If you are able to, please leave a comment, and share the hell out of it on any social media you can, the more people the better that can be made aware of all these issues, male domestic abuse, problems with the family courts, with the CSA, and all the other organisations that routinely fail our children and ush decent parents to the same lengths as you Paul.

    You mentioned religion Paul, and whilst I am afraid that I can never claim to have been religious, I do believe in karma, and although at times it feels like it must have a dodgy sat nav, trust me, the karma bus will eventually come rolling into your town, so please try to stay strong for that day, and for your son, you are a good Dad, and he deserves you.

    • I read your posting with great interest Yaz and found it most encouraging indeed, I thank you for all your well wishing. You mention my ex, well yes indeed she has turned out to be some what of a control freak, but then again I knew that after a year of being together. Being French she had this sort if “actione directe” attitude, but I know that I have to be careful in not judging all Gauls this way, after all people can act in the same alienating manner whatever the race. I think where I went wrong was being a mouse for her and pandering to every argument she made, I always had this feeling deep inside that I didn’t want to lose her in spite of her ways. I was prepared to live and let live and to forgive, I am not perfect by any means, so why shouldn’t I? But when it came to parting I was heartbroken in losing her and it made me ill to some degree, but I was prepared to try and get over that, which I did. But even after we parted I found myself giving in to her charms and seductive ways and did everything she asked, even going back to her home and doing work for nothing. I never dreamed though that when she met another man that she would try to oust me from the son I brought up from birth, I had NO FEELING OF VENGEANCE AT ALL, however she did, but I could never work out why, I never hurt her or my son. Thanks for your comment and you can use me and my blog as you like. Regards Paul Manning.

      • In my comments to Curled Up on Youtube I described it as poignant…..and it is equally as poignant listening to what you say. Despite everything the song describes before…..and that his ex had done to him leaving him curled up in a ball for his own protection….his last words to his abuser are…..I love you.

        In exactly the same way you describe how ‘even after we parted I found myself giving in to her charms and seductive ways and did everything she asked, even going back to her home and doing work for nothing’.

        Such relationships can be so addictive, so hard to escape, then when you do, rather than being accepted as the victim… are perceived as the perpetrator…I have been there myself.

        Thankfully, I have not been arrested, but have nevertheless had many visits from the police, simply for writing what they conceded were perfectly reasonable letter, emails or texts, simply trying to make arrangements with my ex to see the kids…..even when my dad died and I tried to make arrangements for us all to attend the funeral.

        I could so easily be in your position, simply for being a loving caring father.

  24. Hi Paul
    Like you I am outraged by what I perceive as prejudice against fathers, not just in the family courts but throughout all our Institutions. I have witnessed the deterioration in mental health resulting from family break up and feel a lot of this could be avoided if we gave equal rating s to mother and father in terms of childcare. I have heard it said that courts are adverserial in nature. this is the exact opposite of what is needed in times of family crisis.
    Kind regards

  25. I’m sorry to hear this sad story.

    The family court system is all about extracting maximum funds from Dads and the tax revenue. It is a profitable racket done at the expense of children, their fathers and society all hidden under the euphemism of “what’s best for children”. It is a wicked unjust and unaccountable system of exploitation.

    There is a heavy price to pay for having children with an evil woman, the government make that price many times higher.

    Look after yourself, these are lawless times.

  26. Reblogged this on New Fathers 4 Justice and commented:
    Paul Manning the Hay-Wain protester would much appreciate your support when he attends his final trial on the 10th of March 2014. The location will be at the Westminster Magistrates Courts on Marylebone Road London at 10am. This will be a full days hearing and it is possible Paul may face a custodial sentence. Please add your name to the event list if you are sure you can attend and support him.

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